At Time To Hire, our goal is to get good candidates to call you about your commission only sales jobs. Although we’re a lead service to help you find the perfect sales candidate, we know there are many nuances to this process. These hiring tips for employers will help you find the perfect commission sales reps for your company.

How to attract commission only sales reps

As your email box begins to fill up with responses, you’ll want to begin scheduling your potential sales reps into individual or group interviews.

Before you can do that, you will need to ask the right questions to screen candidates, and also give them the information they need to decide if the job is a good fit for them. If you’re not used to it, taking to candidates can be tough.

For example, what do you say when someone inevitably asks, “Is this position commission only?” Gulp. How do you respond to this? If you’re honest and immediately tell them that it is a commission sales rep position, most candidates won’t be interested. They won’t take the time to find out what’s involved in the role or what their other benefits may be—they’ll put down the phone and you’ve lost them for good.

We know this is an issue many sales hiring managers and HR professionals face so we spoke with a professional sales hiring manager with over 40 years of experience. That is how we put together this guide exploring the mechanics of taking candidate phone calls and increasing chances of candidates coming to an interview.

The goal is to interview them in person

Your only goal when taking calls is screening a potential commission sales rep candidate and scheduling the good ones in for an in-person interview.  The candidate will ask questions to decide if they want to meet with you. 

If you can persuade the sales candidate to come to interview, they’ll have to prepare and take the time to come into your office. This means they have a stake in this transaction. Once they have “skin in the game,” they are much more likely to listen to your entire presentation about the position.

Follow a script

Always create and follow a screening script for when candidates call for commission sales rep positions. Follow the script even if you know what to say. This will help ensure you don’t skip important questions and will remind you of key talking points.

Keep refining and tweaking your script and your hiring process. Once you have a perfect script, others will be able to take candidate calls for you.

Don’t sound desperate

Stay calm, cool, and collected on the phone. If you seem desperate to fill the sales position, you’ll find it much more difficult to hire high-quality candidates. The candidate must believe the sales position is more important to them than it is to you.

Be friendly  

You’ll get much further by being friendly, flexible, and approachable than by being combative or dismissive. Many people who call may not be interested in a commission only sales role and some people won’t want to continue the conversation after finding out.

Schedule the interview ASAP

Wherever possible, schedule your interviews for the same or the following day. The longer you wait, the more alternative offers your potential commission sales reps will see.  It is more like that interest will wane. You’re looking for people who can make a quick decision and follow through on it—a  positive trait in the sales field.

— An example response for “Can we just meet next week?”- Our business is exploding and we need people to start right away. I’m looking for salespeople who can make decisions right away and someone that won’t hesitate.”

Share information about your business up front

After asking some quick questions about their sales background, give a brief overview of your sales business. Let them know what you do, share some brief company information, and your sales process. Tell them about leads, how you generate them, and how much money they could make.

— “Our highest sales person is going to make x amount this month, the average sales rep makes x amount a month, and obviously we’re looking for someone who has strong sales abilities, is a self-starter and a hard-worker, does that sound like you x?”

— Example Response to “Yes!” –  “Great, it sounds like we have some common interest. “I have either 10am tomorrow or 3pm the following day. Which is best for you?”Only offer them two times.

This is how you guide the conversation and avoid the trap of giving away all the information about the company and position up front. The candidate must feel some curiosity about the position or they won’t show up to the interview.

— Alternate response: “I’d like to meet, can you tell me more about the compensation?” Answer: “I’d be happy to – that’s part of what we’ll cover in our interview tomorrow. I just don’t have time today with so many calls coming in.”

How to respond to “Is this position commission only?”

If you have to answer this question directly, most sales candidates will lose interest. They just won’t show up. Again, you need to get them to come to your office to meet with you in person. For most commission only sales positions, you’re better off sidestepping the question and closing them on the interview. If you do need to answer, here are some possible responses.

— “Well, I could give you a base and you could go out and do some cold calling and generate your own leads. Instead of doing it this way, we actually provide our sales reps with warm leads. Would you rather have warm leads to call, or would you rather generate your own leads?”

— “That’s a great question! Were you looking for a commission only position?” No?  “Well, we have multiple pay plans for our reps and we can go over those options when you come in for an interview. We’ll tour our facilities, show you the opportunities and answer any questions you have in detail.  If it seems like a match for both of us, we’ll find out which direction and compensation plan are right for you. Does that sound good?”

— “We have a variety of compensation plans and tailor our final offer for each candidate. When you come in for the interview, we’ll discuss those options in more detail, explain what we do and show you around the business.”

Practice makes perfect

Don’t expect to become a hiring expert overnight.  Keep working on your technique and realize that you may not be successful your first time. If you have any additional tips on improving how to get more candidates to show up for commission sales rep positions, please let us know!

Want us to find the best commission sales reps on your behalf and reduce your time to hire?  Get in touch now.